I said back in March that if I ever had to part with Local Records, I would press on in my musical aspirations.
That day has come.
When I went in for what I thought was a scheduled recording session yesterday, Label Owner told me that the company would not be able to fulfill the terms of the contract they offered me a month ago.
"We just don't have the resources to get you where you need to be," he said. "I don't think we'd be able to meet the deadlines that we laid out in the contract. For right now, we're going to focus on CD distribution and trying to build up a customer base instead of doing artist development."
It would be a lie to say I am not disappointed, but that disappointment is not as great as one might imagine. To begin with, Local Records's budget constraints were clear from the beginning, so the financial woes don't come as the huge shock they might have.
Secondly, Local Records was never the label I wanted to build my career with, though I had hoped to get further into an important first step before parting ways. Their limited means and a significant difference in vision between the owner and me over the direction my career would take (I joked with friends that I was the only recording artist in history who had to fight his label to be more commercial) made the separation not a relief but not the huge wound it could have been.
These underlying tensions were reflected in the negotiations surrounding my record deal; Local Records originally wanted me to be under contract with them for five years, an arrangement that caused me discomfort specifically for fear that I would be legally obligated for half a decade to a label that could not adequately promote me.
Yesterday's developments are testament that, however let down I might be, Local Records was not the right vehicle through which to begin my career.
The biggest source of anxiety I have regarding all of it is the practical concern of finding new work. That being satisfied, no lingering regret will remain. This is the right thing to do.
In the day since I've been back on the Internet searching for bands and labels. A friend directed me to a possible musician to record with and I'm also keeping in hand the option of paying for a professional demo. That would be expensive (between $300.00 and $500.00), but a worthwhile investment if I'm serious, which I am.
I said before that, regardless of what came, I wouldn't stop. That's a promise I aim to keep.